I want to build an MTB and have this new FC-M610 crank. What front derailer and shifter that can be used with a Shimano crankset FC-M610 (48-36-26 AL gears)?

2 Answers 2


Here's an indispensable resource for anyone doing a build with Shimano parts: Shimano Compatibility Chart. This specific link is a page for Shimano Trekking/Mountain front drivetrain compatibility and lists the appropriate part numbers for the front crank, front derailleur, front shifter and bottom bracket that will match well with each other. As you can see at the linked web page, there are around a dozen compatible front ders and shifters that are listed as straight compatible with the 10 speed triple crankset, FC-M610. Other model numbers will work (see below), but you need to be sure that the derailleur cage is large enough to match the curve of the large chainring and also designed for a triple crankset.

Typically, the way Shimano model numbers work is the higher the starting numbers, the higher the quality and, of course, price. A few years ago, they somewhat changed their numbering system going from 100's (ie: M610) to 1000's (equivalent but a little newer would be the FC-M6000). I mention this to avoid any confusion about higher number, higher quality.

So the compatibility chart gives the company's "best match" products, however there are numerous options that will work and work perfectly especially with front drive trains. Because the front shifter cable pull is the same between speed classes, a shifter marketed as for 9 or 11 speed will work for you. It will need to be a triple front shifter. Many of the newer and upper tier models have a selector switch that make the shifter either 2x or 3x so they're a little more versatile should you want to change things up and go to 2x at some point. For the front derailleur, a triple front derailleur from 9, 10, or 11 speed classes will work well when set up correctly. You can get a little more chain noise with an 11 speed derailleur since the cage is narrower than a 10 speed front der. For example, I bought the smaller FC-M610 (42-32-24) and installed it into my 9 speed drivetrain (M590 shifter and M510 derailleur) and it worked great. Today my hardtail sports a 2x10 speed XT/XTR drivetrain with the front der being an 11 speed FC-M9020. As long as one doesn't go more than +/- 1 speed class with front drive components {that 10 speed crankset will work well within an otherwise 9 or 11 speed drivetrain), the system that's set up correctly will function perfectly.


Every Shimano "touring/trekking triple" works. By "touring/trekking", I refer to front derailleurs that are intended for cranksets that have 48 tooth big ring as opposed to "MTB triple" front derailleurs that are intended for triple cranksets with 42 tooth big ring.

As for shifters, every friction shifter (such as bar-end front shifter) and every "MTB triple" shifter works. So drop bar STI shifters won't work. However, you aren't building a road bike so that shouldn't matter.

Most likely you want to select the shifter based on the rear derailleur and use a matching front shifter.

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